WHO is Marburg?
What you need to know about the next scary virus
The World Health Organization called an emergency meeting this week to address the threat from the Marburg virus. This article will address any of your concerns.
The Marburg virus is truly a horrifying virus. It is an RNA virus that causes hemorrhagic fever. It usually starts suddenly with flu-like symptoms after a relatively short incubation period. After a few days you develop a rash. Then GI symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, and so on.
Symptoms progressively worsen until you develop kidney, liver, and pancreatic failure. You develop hemorrhaging (bleeding) from the mucus membranes such as the eyes and mouth. Eventually, you succumb to multiorgan failure and shock. The infection fatality rate is somewhere between 20% and 100% - one of the deadliest viruses in history.
If this sounds familiar, it is. Marburg virus has been around since the 1960s and rears its ugly head every few years. It’s also very similar to Ebola.
Fortunately, the Marburg virus is exceedingly rare. There have been about 2 dozen outbreaks since it was discovered in the 1960s, most of which were in Africa.
Marburb can be transmitted through contact with infected bodily fluids. Occasionally it’s transmitted by a particular type of bat.
What this means is, the Marburg virus isn’t a big concern. If you don’t live in Africa you have basically zero risk. If you don’t share body fluids with infected people your chances are zero.
Why is the WHO worried about Marburg?